Agent Sai Srinivasa Athreya review: A thriller with fresh elements
Taut narration, Naveen Polishetty's one-man show and novel scam gives Agent Sai Srinivas Athreya an edge
Critic's Rating: 3/5
Friday 21 June 2019
Agent Sai Srinivasa Athreya
Naveen Polishetty, Shruti Sharma
Agent Sai (Naveen Polishetty), a private detective in Nellore, has no cases. He and his assistant Sneha (Shruti Sharma) deal with petty cases for living. One day in an unexpected way, he gets a woman's murder case, her father asks him to investigate what really has happened to her. He finds that something has happened on that particular day in Ongole. As he starts to investigate the case, his life turns into a volatile situation, he himself is suspected in a murder case. Rest of the drama is revealing the mystery.
In Chantabbayi, Chiranjeevi played the role of Pandu aka James Pond, a struggling private detective. Tollywood has not explored this genre much after Chantabbayi, though Rajendra Prasad starrer Vamsy directed Chettu Kinda Pleader had a similar pattern – crime incident and a struggling lawyer looking for big case. In the age of Sherlock Holmes movie series, Naveen Polishetty and new director Swaroop have attempted this genre with a modern approach. Agent Sai Srinivas Athreya too is laced with humor like Chantabbayi had, and has a female assistant to protagonist like in Chettu Kinda Pleader.
Set in Nellore city, the film in the beginning focuses on this area, trying to draw us into this world. The Agent Srinivas' office named FBI, which is short form for Fatima Bureau of Investigation, in a vegetable market. Fatima was his first crush. The first act of the movie is mostly boring as it completely deals with Agent Srinivas' comedy act. The film turns into a gripping affair when the detective lands in a murder case. What seemed to be a rape and murder case turns into a big conspiracy, a scam. This portion is established well by the director and the proceedings are taut. Although there are too many threads added in the final portions, it definitely adds novelty.
Naveen Polishetty's energetic act and the middle portions have made the movie an engaging watch. On the downside, it has many logical issues and the thread between hero and heroine is unconvincing. No strong reason is established why Sneha (Shruthi Sharma) works for the detective at odd timings and for paltry amount.
Naveen Polishetty as private detective is convincing in the role. This is the first film for him but he has acted like an experienced actor. As the story completely relies on him, he has pulled it off well. The Nellore accent and dialogue delivery is pitch perfect. Shruti Sharma as female lead is okay. The film has many new actors and have all done neat job.
Mark K Robin's background score and cinematography are plus points to this detective thriller. New director Swaroop RSJ has succeeded in creating tense moments.
Agent Sai Srinivas Athreya is a thriller with lot of fresh elements. Taut narration, Naveen Polishetty's one-man show and novel scam give this movie an edge. The film has no songs, no romantic track between the lead pair. It is quite a departure from regular thrillers.